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New privacy initiative, headed by ADT, to establish home security standards, best practices

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Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Yesterday in the United States, Data Privacy Day 2019 was celebrated. On social media, tweets flew by offering tips on how to protect data against hackers. Security professionals and enthusiasts on LinkedIn discussed the topic at hand while top privacy leaders, such as the National Cyber Security Alliance Executive Director, Kelvin Coleman; Eva Velasquez, president and CEO, Identity Theft Resource Center; and CEO Larry Magid of Connect Safely, among others, convened in San Francisco for an afternoon of focused discussion about opportunities and challenges for data security moving forward. 

Yes, yesterday was quite the day for data security. However, we must recognize that securing data is a 24/7, 365 day a week operation. Google “data security breach” and incident after incident will pop up … for me, it was about 117 million in .75 seconds. Recently, Ring was outed by major news outlets for Ukraine engineers and executives at Ring having “highly privileged access” to live customer camera feeds — both doorbell cameras and in-home cameras — around the world, while a NEST camera was hijacked with a voice warning a California family that three missiles from North Korea were headed to the U.S., which, of course, was not true, but I can imagine sent the family into sheer panic. 

With breaches such as these, among the millions of other data breaches and exposed records in the United States alone, ADT in partnership with SIA, The Monitoring Association, Electronic Security Association, the Internet Society’s Online Trust Alliance and TrustArc are creating a new consumer privacy initiative.

“Alongside industry organizations and partners, we will be outlining privacy and ethics priorities for the industry, creating an external and internal advisory board, and updating our promise to customers: ‘At ADT we are dedicated to your safety, and helping take care of what you value and cherish most in your life: your loved ones, your property and your privacy,” ADT’s CEO, Jim DeVries, said in an internal company memo that went out to all 19,000 ADT employees and to SSN, exclusively. 

In the coming months, the initiative is focused on the following key objectives, the press release said. 

  • Adopting a set of industry-wide best practices that are customer-centric and drive transparency. 
  • Working with dealers, partners and other industry organizations on enhanced privacy and ethical standards for our industry. 
  • Programs focused on privacy, ethics and transparency. 

ADT is also soliciting participation from other organizations who are interested in helping to drive the objectives. 

So, how do you think this initiative will help with data security? 

Let’s discuss!

 

Celia Besore named TMA’s executive director

 - 
10/03/2018

VIENNA, Va.—The Monitoring Association announced yesterday that Celia T. Besore will become the new executive director of the association on Nov. 1, succeeding Jay Hauhn who is retiring on Oct. 31. Besore will be the first female executive director for TMA.

TMA holds inaugural Technology Summit

Jay Hauhn provides an overview of the event
 - 
04/04/2018

SALT LAKE CITY—The Monitoring Association held its inaugural Technology Summit here, March 19-21, covering technologies directly related to monitoring centers in today’s industry.

Registration open for new TMA event

 - 
Wednesday, January 31, 2018

VIENNA, Va.—Registration is now open for The Monitoring Association’s recently announced “TMA Technology Summit,” an inaugural event to be held March 19-21, 2018 in Salt Lake City. The event is coordinated by TMA’s Technology Committee, which is co-chaired by Sascha Kylau, vice president of sales, Onetel Security and Steve Butkovich, CTO, CPI Security Systems.

“We invite CTOs, CIOs, and IT directors of monitoring companies to participate in the first TMA Tech Summit to learn about and discuss technology issues that directly affect monitoring centers,” Kylau said in a prepared statement. “By attending, these tech pros will learn about the newest technologies—hardware, software and services—to run their central stations securely and efficiently, minimizing downtime and protecting them from internal and external threats,” he continued.

“We also welcome dealers, owners, and interested participants from manufacturing companies,” Butkovich said in the announcement. “We’ll be talking about all the things that matter when it comes to technology and running and securing an effective business.”

Sessions and topics will include:

•           Intelligent apps and analytics

•           MPLS, SD-WAN, secure VPNs (what are they and what is best for my business)

•           Contact Center 2018 (speech recognition for QC, text to speech, AI, and more)

•           Data storage (new storage options and best practices for storage and data retention)

•           3G, LTE, FirstNet, 5G and beyond

•           Next gen Linux mainframe

•           Cybersecurity (gap & risk assessment—It’s a business issue, not just an IT issue)

•           Next gen firewalls and other cyber hardware tools

•           Data backup and recovery solutions

•           Data encryption

In the announcement, TMA noted that the Technology Summit will be modeled after its Fall Operations Management Seminar. Both days of the conference will conclude with round table discussions of the day’s presentations. The room block for the event is now open as well.

Top monitoring topics in 2017

 - 
Wednesday, December 20, 2017

YARMOUTH, Maine—Now that we are in the second half of December, it seems like a natural time to look back over the year and some of the common topics from the monitoring side of the industry in 2017. 

The Monitoring Association had some notable developments this year, including changing its name from CSAA in March—a change made to better portray the focus of the organization.

It was great to attend TMA’s Annual Meeting this year. You can read an overview of that event here. At the close of the meeting TMA welcomed its new president, Ivan Spector, president of Montreal-based Sentinel Alarm Co., along with several other officers. You can read more about that here.

And, more recently, TMA announced its new Level 1 training course for monitoring center operators.

PERS, yet again, was a big topic of the year.

Affiliated Monitoring held its second annual Catalyst conference in Miami in mid-May, examining the sales and marketing aspects of the PERS industry.

AvantGuard held its fourth PERS Summit in late September, in Park City, Utah, covering a variety of topics.

Medical alert provider Medical Guardian also announced a change-up to its branding and marketing, looking more at overcoming one of the biggest obstacles in the PERS industry, which is “the perception of the service,” according to company founder and CEO, Geoff Gross.

PERS manufacturer Freeus also started a dealer education initiative. There were also some acquisitions announced; VRI made a purchase in the PERS space, as did Tunstall Americas, and GTCR was purchased by a private equity firm. PERS company ONKÖL started production.

There were also a few notable hires and role changes at monitoring companies: Security Partners named Randy Hall as its president, Justin Bailey became the president of AvantGuard in addition to being its COO, MONI’s Bruce Mungiguerra was promoted from SVP to COO, and NMC recently hired Nicola Oakie as its new director of national sales.

 

TMA releases new Level 1 operator training course

Association to work on false alarm training course and updating Level 2 in 2018
 - 
12/13/2017

VIENNA, Va.—The Monitoring Association recently announced a new Level 1 training course for operators.

TMA holds 2017 Annual Meeting in Arizona

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10/25/2017

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.—The Monitoring Association held its 2017 annual meeting here, Oct. 7-11, the first annual meeting since changing the association’s name from CSAA. Included here is a brief overview of some of the educational sessions and a couple of topics that speakers addressed.

TMA announces two award recipients

 - 
Wednesday, October 25, 2017

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.—The Monitoring Association recently recognized two notable professionals: Morgan Hertel, vice president of technology and innovation of Rapid Response Monitoring Services, and Sascha Kylau, vice president of sales at OneTel Security.

Hertel was awarded The Monitoring Association’s highest honor, the Stanley C. Lott Memorial Award for Exemplary Service. “This award was created to honor the memory of Stanley C. Lott, a TMA (CSAA) past president renowned for his above-and-beyond efforts to lead and financially support the Association through difficult times,” the announcement read.

Pamela J. Petrow, then-president of TMA who presented the award, said in the announcement: “Morgan is someone who gives tirelessly of his time through committee work, responding on our digital community board, and in one-to-one consultation, all in an effort to improve our association and to educate others in the industry … including his competitors!”

Hertel said in the anouncement, “This is really an honor and a privilege – not only to receive this award but to be here at the TMA Annual Meeting.”

He continued, “One of the reasons I do what I do is a personal belief in the importance of giving back. I think many in our industry feel the same way. You give back to your community, church, faith, your industry that’s provided you with a great living over the last 40 years.

Kylau was awarded TMA’s President’s Award for service to the alarm industry.

“Part of TMA’s mission to provide education to our members that helps them meet today’s industry challenges. This year Sascha’s efforts as co-chair of the Technology Committee and member of the Education Committee have resulted in considerable advances toward that goal,” Petrow said in the announcement of Kylau’s award. “He helped coordinate technology webinars open to all TMA members, spearheaded the Annual Meeting technology sessions that were a big attraction at our event, and assisted in the review of the Level 1 training course.”

Kylau, upon receiving the award, said, “I am honored to be presented with this award by Pam Petrow. Not only do I consider Pam a friend but I look to her as a mentor; she has helped me to become the person I am today.  I have had the privilege of serving this association for the past 19 years. I will continue to bring my knowledge to the table and assist the association in its education as we move forward in a constantly-evolving industry.”

Both awards were presented at TMA's annual meeting, held Oct. 7-11 in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Ivan Spector voted president-elect of The Monitoring Association

 - 
Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The Monitoring Association today announced that Ivan Spector, president of Montreal-based Sentinel Alarm Co., was voted to be the next president of TMA at its general membership meeting, held on June 13 during ESX in Nashville Tenn.

“I am very honored and humbled to serve in the position of President,” Spector said in TMA’s announcement. “I look forward to continuing our successes and I thank all of our members for their support and participation.” 

Spector is a Superior Court of Canada-acknowledged and accepted expert witness. Spector is a graduate of McGill University and he and his wife Jodi live in Montreal with their four children. Sentinel Alarm Co. is a full-service ULC-listed and Five Diamond designated monitoring station.

“In addition to his ownership of Sentinel Alarm, Spector is a leader in advancing alarm management in both Canada and the United States,” TMA said in today's announcement. For CANASA, Spector has served on the Board of Directors, was national president, and chair of the Response Committee. He was also a founding member and longtime board member of the Security Industry Alarm Coalition and he currently serves on the Executive Committee of TMA.

In addition to the election of Spector, officer positions for the next two years were proposed and accepted by vote of the membership: Don Young, ADT’s chief information officer; Morgan Hertel, VP of technology and innovation for Rapid Response; and CPI’s chief technology officer Steve Butkovich, will become vice presidents of the association and Alan Gillmore IV, Gillmore Security, will become TMA’s treasurer.

“Congratulations to Ivan and our other new officers,” TMA's current president Pamela J. Petrow, said in a prepared statement. “I have had the pleasure of working with all of them during my presidency, and know that the Association will be in very good hands under their leadership.”

These leadership changes become official at the conclusion of the TMA Annual Meeting in Scottsdale October 7-11.

Industry associations warn against deceptive sales practices

Presentation seems timely ahead of the summer sales season
 - 
05/10/2017

SACRAMENTO, Calif.—The Better Business Bureau, the Electronic Security Association, The Monitoring Association, and ADT—as well as targets and victims of deceptive sales practices—gathered here on May 9 to discuss the harm these sales techniques do to customers as well as the industry.

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